Our society, our government, and our media all make suggestions.
You probably know which ones of these you feel the most. Some that hit many of us hard include:
Be rich. Be perfect. Be productive. Be attractive. Be thin. Be compliant. Be afraid. Be a little person in this big, big, incontrollable world, as it spins so fast that whatever you do, it will not possibly make any kind of major difference.
At times these loud, persistent voices in our world may suggest that these ideas are truths.
And at times we may even believe them.
But we have the power to make our own, even more impactful suggestions.
These suggestions move from our thoughts to our behaviors, the little things we do or say each minute of our day. In each thought, and in each behavior that results, we affect everything we do and everywhere we go. This impacts everyone we interact with, everyone we meet, every single day of our lives. What we sometimes forget is that our thoughts and behaviors are actually within our power to shift and control. Your thoughts, when it comes down to it, are yours. Because of this, your words and your actions are yours, too. Every little choice you make adds up to something bigger.
Here’s the most important thing to remember, to make positive shifts in our lives and our world:
Enough of us… including ourselves… must believe it is possible.
We can start by revising our suggestions about who we are as individuals. About our worth. About our capabilities, our capacity to be loved, and our capacity to love. These attitudes we hold inside us have an impact on the lives of everyone around us. They stretch all around our inner circles, and extend throughout our society. With a change of belief, we can learn to love ourselves, even though we may have spent our lives seeing ourselves as imperfect. We can also love our country, even though we may see it as imperfect as well. We can look at ourselves and our situations from a multitude of angles, rather than just a place of frustration and despair. We can feel saddened and disillusioned about the state of our nation, but we can still see the positive aspects of what it stands for at its core: opportunity rather than poverty; diversity rather than hate; hope rather than fear.
In this critical moment in history, we must reflect on this fundamental truth. And we must turn our eyes and minds toward another truth, one evidenced throughout the history of humanity:
Change never happens because the established system wants it to. Change happens because of a critical mass of “regular” people, who share the hope and belief (individually, and collaboratively) that it is possible.
Through all of this, we must remember that we are not simply “regular” people. Our beliefs and our voices matter on a very real level, more than we even imagine.
Ask yourself the following:
How did the American revolution, which founded this country on the concept of freedom, actually begin… and succeed? It was not because the establishment wanted it to. It happened because enough individuals invested their beliefs into the idea that it was actually possible. Simply put: enough people believed, and the history of the world changed as a result.
This is not a call for any kind of war. This is a call for another kind of revolution. A revolution of belief, a revolution of togetherness, a revolution of love, and a revolution of positively-driven power. This will be the only real means for peace. It is a revolution in which we will make our voices heard, yes, but even more importantly: it will be a revolution where we listen, collaborate, and strengthen through the merging of our many aptitudes as individuals. We will join not only with people who appear to be like us, but also with people who, on the surface, appear not to be.
It will be a revolution in which we break out of the boxes where we often hide ourselves, and where we let our minds travel beyond the limits of the world’s echo chambers, those in which we only hear the voices that mirror our own worldview. We will move beyond our choices to spend time only with people who agree with us, or to seek out information that confirms what we already believe. It will be a revolution in which we truly listen, in which we truly care about the well-being of ourselves, our fellow humans, and our world. We will be moved by our hearts as well as our minds, our compassion as well as our strong yet long-suppressed desires, the ones that have been steadily building a persistent yearning for change.
Though we often feel alone in this world, most people who watch the news share the same horrified, and often hopeless, reaction. We do not respond functionally to fear. In our moments of clarity, we see that fear breeds nothing but apathy, disillusionment, hate, frustration, destruction, and pain. And if we look closely enough, we see that what most relieves our stress, alleviates our fears, frees our minds, and moves our hearts is love.
Believe in the change that the voice deep inside you truly calls for. Join with the people you know or can find who believe that positive change is possible. And remember the phrase that has long driven the soul of America, and the free world:
United we stand;
Divided we fall.
It’s not time to simply stay in bed or on the couch; it’s not time to spend our hours eating up the negative suggestions that bounce around our world on a daily basis. It’s time to embrace being creative, and to uncover what makes us feel alive. It’s time to speak and to hear, and to share the love that each and every one of us has to give. Though we may feel that this love has been buried deep inside us or left us long ago: believe me when I say, it is still there.
It isn’t time for us to crawl, people, and it’s definitely not time for us to fall.
Let’s unite and stand, United States, as our name suggests. Let’s unite and stand: that is my call to every individual, all around this wondrous and beautiful world… which, though it does seem big at times, has moments where it feels smaller than we ever imagined.
Uniting does not mean that we will all agree on everything. Uniting means that we will come to agree on one simple, yet powerful statement: that love is far greater than fear.
And as we believe in this statement together, we will not simply rise up.
We will rise above.